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Times of India
21 February 2011
Pune, India

More than 50 per cent of the patients from city, who received liver transplants at a Delhi–based institute, were suffering from non–alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), liver transplant surgeon A S Soin said here on Sunday.

"This figure is three times the national average, which is around 15 per cent, said Soin, chairman of the Medanta Institute of Liver Transplantation at Gurgaon, Delhi. He was here to brief the media about the latest developments in the field of liver transplant and liver diseases with special focus on Pune.

Sedentary lifestyle, diabetes, high cholesterol and obesity predispose to fatty liver disease. Around 20 per cent patients with fatty liver eventually develop liver cirrhosis, he said.

Nearly two lakh people die every year in India from terminal liver disease and cancer, of which at least 25,000 could be saved by liver transplants. In Pune and neighbouring areas alone, nearly 300 liver transplants are needed every year.

"According to international guidelines, any patient suffering from liver cirrhosis and assessed to have a life expectancy of less than a year should be considered for a transplant," Soin said. Timely transplant is important in obtaining good results. Till recently, liver transplantation was not well–developed in India. However, now the situation is different," he added.

Having performed more than a thousand liver transplants and nearly 10,000 other complex liver surgeries in the last 20 years, Soin is known worldwide for his pioneering work in liver transplant in India.

"A difficult group of patients is those that develop sudden liver failure over just a few days, which is fatal unless an emergency transplant is carried out. However, thousands die due to lack of awareness and timely access to a transplant centre," Soin said.

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